'Revolution' Season 1: Second Half Might Signal Show's Demise


Revolution started as a hit. After the initial season and hiatus the second half of the season is underway. But alas, Revolution is doomed to die unless some major flaws are fixed.

The premise is simple. The lights (meaning electricity) simply went out one night and the world descended into both literal and figurative darkness. Over time, the continental USA morphed into separate nations run by strongmen who may’ve been channelling a combination of Adolf Hitler and Somali Warlords.

Let’s talk about why Revolution might be doomed. It boils down to not being able to suspend disbelief and some sloppy premises.

For example: They spent the entire half of the first season trying to save Danny. And he got whacked in the Second Half Premier. The idea was to put an element of revenge into the mix, according to its producer. But if you check the comments percolating up on Facebook, fans are not happy.

Then, the people in the show are too prosperous and numerous. If the electrical grid were totally shut down, the immediate die off alone would depopulate the area in an extreme way. Add in the predatory people that evolve into the Monroe Republic and you have more dead as power gets consolidated. Factor in the complete lack of medicinal manufacturing for fifteen years and your infirm and elderly are gone faster than you can say “Darwin.” From what we’ve seen so far the people are well fed, clean, procreating, and there isn’t much in the way of sickness at all. Aaron is hefty. His size indicates a lot of food coming in. But from where? The breadbasket is in the Plains Nation and nothing indicates that any real trade is going on. Even for 15 years after the event, these folks are just not believable. For a detailed account of what might happen with a plausible loss of power read One Second After by William R. Forstchen (my Goodreads review).

When it comes to pre-event pieces of equipment they have aged remarkably well. In the second half of the season we see military trucks roaring and helicopters flying. This implies that in Revolution-land, fuel doesn’t gel over time. It says that rubber gaskets, seals, and tires don’t degrade like they did in the military I served in. Frankly, after sitting idle for 10-15 years in a corrosive environment the equipment would not work no matter how many flash driven magic amulets were used.

How does a low level military guy like Monroe seize power so quickly? They postulate that all government failed which allowed Monroe and Company to move into the vacuum. That isn’t a reasonable assumption for one area of the country let alone the entire continental USA. Even if the east coast dropped, areas less hurt like the midwest would likely still retain a functioning government. That government would eventually overpower a local warlord with no long distance command and control. It makes for a good show if you can suspend disbelief long enough to let the notion take root. I couldn’t.

But, the potential show killer is all the people again. The problem is that they’re alive. The cause of the blackout has been revealed and it isn’t something that we can readily see happening like an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack. Instead it is an airborne nano-virus. About two quadrillion of them in fact. They have two commands. The first is to absorb all electricity. The second is to reproduce. At first blush, the idea is great. How cool would it be to take the juice but leave everything able to function? The reality is that the brain you are using to process this article also runs on electrical pulses. The virus would have shut down your brain. As the more fans realize this, the sooner the show may end.